Four in five UK bank customers prefer to conduct their business by a personal visit to their local branch, rather than online, according to new research.
Separately, nearly half of US surfers choose some means other than their bank to pay bills online.
Analysts predict that this could see internet banks such as Egg move to the high street with their own branch network or by partnering with existing banks.
In September, the e-bank sector saw its first casualty, first-e.
"The strategies of many an internet bank were based on the idea that the death of the branch was imminent," said Alex Boorman, analyst at market researcher Datamonitor.
"However, [this] research confirms a growing realisation within the e-banking sector that this is not the case, " said Boorman.
"Such is the importance of having a branch presence that Datamonitor predicts that some standalone internet banks will soon move to establish some form of branch presence.
"Many banks are likely to see their existing branches undergo a shift from convenience to excellence, as they specialise in providing more value added and expert services, while the more mundane tasks are taken care of by electronic channels."
But with 26 per cent of all surfers now banking online, according to Datamonitor, banks will be nervous of US figures from the Yankee Group that show them in danger of losing their status as the favoured centre for electronic bill payments.
The group reports that as e-commerce strategies are further developed by communications providers, utilities, credit cards, web portals and other organisations, customers are taking up these other options for the delivery of their bills and invoices.
Banks still have 55 per cent of the market and have a leading role to play, according to the Yankee Group.
"Through steady marketing and incentive programs, billers are slowly driving more of their customers to the web to receive and pay their recurring bills," said Paul Hughes, director at the Yankee Group.
"But the transactional nature of electronic bill payment and presentation still creates a strong opportunity for financial institutions to play the leading role."
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